John's Journal...

The Challenges of Hunting End-of-the-Season Big Bucks

Hunt the Does and Hunt the Varmints with Remington Rifles

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Hunters already have harvested many of the young bucks before January arrives. But the older, trophy-sized bucks have holed-up and moved only after dark to dodge hunting pressure. However, with the onset of the rut, which takes place at various times from October – February across the United States, even the dominant bucks will move during daylight hours at this time and become vulnerable to hunters.Click to enlarge

Anyone who's hunted all season long knows where he sees bucks and the regions where only slick-headed does appear. He will concentrate most of his hunting time in the areas where he's seen antlers. However, during the rut, bucks extend their ranges and travel into new sections of land with high concentrations of does in search of estrous does to breed. To bag a buck during the late season, hunt the region where you've spotted only does in the past, because now the bucks also will frequent these sites, looking for females.

I consider a hunting buddy of mine, who prefers to remain anonymous, as one of the most-successful end-of-the-season hunters. He says, "During the rut, I try to find groups of three or four does feeding through the woods and move with them as they go about their daily feeding patterns. I watch the does to make sure they can't see me when I move. I'm also searching for antler tips in thick-cover areas near the does. Often a big buck will bed on the downwind side of the does in a region where the does routinely feed. Then he can smell a doe that has come into estrus that he can breed. By hunting the does and traveling with them through the woods, I've taken several, nice-sized January bucks during the rut."Click to enlarge

If you're hunting a green field, study the doe on the field. If the doe constantly lookstoward the woodline, prepare for a shot. You'll probably spot a big buck waiting just off the edge of the field, preparing to enter the field. Most hunters know when they hear the crashing sounds of a doe running through the woods that they need to look for a buck behind her. However, don't raise your rifle immediately. Other hunters in the wClick to enlargeoods may have spotted her, and she just may have run from one of them.

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Tomorrow: Study Scrapes to Locate Trophy Bucks and Use Moultrie Trail Cameras

Check back each day this week for more about "The Challenges of Hunting End-of-the-Season Big Bucks"

Day 1: Searching for Those End-of-the-Season Big Bucks and Using Code Blue
Day 2: Hunt the Does and Hunt the Varmints with Remington Rifles
Day 3: Study Scrapes to Locate Trophy Bucks and Use Moultrie Trail Cameras
Day 4: Realize the Potential of Clear-Cuts
Day 5: Remember Trophy Bucks Pattern Hunters at the End of Deer Season


Entry 545, Day 2